12/18/10 Ralph about 55
I stopped by a neighborhood laundromat today and walked around giving MDB gospel tracts to everyone there. They all smiled and laughed when they received them. Then I went back to the first person I had given one to - an older man named Ralph, and asked what he thought of the questions on the back. He didn't have his reading glasses on so I offered to explain it to him. Ralph was not so sure he will go to heaven when he dies because of all the bad things he has done. He did have hope though, because he said he has saved five people from dying, simply by being in the right places at the right times and getting involved to help when he was needed. "That has to be worth something," he concluded. Now I understand the principle that we as evangelists should give "law to the proud and grace to the humble". I really didn't know which of these Ralph was. In effect, it seemed like he still trusted in his own good works for salvation, just not the traditional religious kind, so I still asked him the ""good person" questions based on the Ten Commandments even though he seemed humble about his sin. I think it is better to err on the side of caution, because if a person truly believes they deserve the punishment of hell when they die I wouldn't be telling them anything new, but if indeed they trust in their own good deeds and are informed that the Bible teaches that they need faith in Christ for forgiveness and salvation, then they have learned some truth that will help them along the right path. When I finally told Ralph about the hope he can have in Jesus, he acted like he knew this all along. I hope he did, and I hope our conversation just served to strengthen what faith he already had.